Waterfalls, evil web weavers and wordsearches
Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
354Trip End May 28, 2011
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The sound of the rainforest as we entered was pretty incredible. An almost deafening combination of chattering, chirping, whistling, rattling and something that sounded almost like a fire alarm. Too many to even try to begin working out where they were all coming from. Then we spotted several absolutely bloody MASSIVE spiders and immediately lost interest in all the noises and concentrated solely on not walking into one of their gigantic scary webs. Really ugly-looking bastards, they were. Nat and I were petrified of them so made Tarzan Chris go ahead and vet the path ahead of us
Fortunately the waterfall wasn't too far away though, and worth it when we got there. We swam in the shallow plunge pool and let the fish (not sure if they were garra rufa again, but if not similar) nibble at our feet for a while.
We got back to Walkers Inn just before another torrential downpour which this time lasted most of the evening so as we didn't fancy getting wet again stayed in watching the rain, playing cards, and wondering what the next few weeks of teaching will be like.
Today we got a better insight into what's in store for us. Mondays at Volunteer Teacher Thailand are spent planning the lessons for the week ahead. First, Ken (the retired teacher from Warrington who runs the project) showed us a video explaining the context: the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Khao Lak; how the volunteer centre the project is based at was originally set up to recover the dead, feed the living and rebuild lives and livelihoods; and how the English teaching project has evolved from it
We'll be teaching up to 465 students across 17 classes in 5 schools, 40 kids in a local orphanage, and a few adults in drop-in community classes. Only 3 or 4 lessons need to be prepare to cover the whole week though as the same lessons will be recycled for different classes. There are 8 volunteers at the moment so we designed our lesson plans in small groups.
Nat, Chris and I were assigned The Solar System for P6 students, i.e. 11-12 year olds. So this week we'll be teaching that, as well as some of the lessons the other volunteers have planned; Environment - things you find at the beach to 8-9 year olds, and Southern Thailand to 10-11 year olds.
The day was spent familiarising ourselves with the subject matter (it's been ages since I learnt about the solar system myself and still have trouble remembering which order the planets are in!), printing and laminating pictures of planets and the solar system, making flashcards which we'll get the kids to stick to velcro boards, inventing wordsearches, thinking up games to get them to remember stuff, and drawing up lesson plans so that we are as prepared as we can be when we enter the classroom.
Now looking forward to putting all the preparation into practice tomorrow!